Many of the malapropisms now attributed to Yogi Berra were from stories originally told by former ballplayer-turned-broadcaster Joe Garagiola, Berra’s childhood friend, who loved to tell stories about Berra’s accidental humor. Other quotes have been misattributed to him because they seem characteristic of his style. Referring to the numerous “Yogiisms” circulating, Berra allegedly said, “I didn’t really say everything I said.”
You mean now? — when asked what time it was. He was on a passenger jet at the time, so he was not sure in which time zone he was.
90 percent of putts that fall short don’t go in.
A good ball club. — when asked what makes a good manager of a baseball team
A home opener is always exciting, no matter if it’s home or on the road.
Don’t get me right; I’m just asking!
No one goes there any more; it’s too crowded.
A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
Always go to other peoples’ funerals; otherwise they won’t go to yours.
Even Napoleon had his Watergate.
Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.
He’s a big clog in their machine. — referring to Ted Williams
I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
I’m as red as a sheet.
I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did!
I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.
I couldn’t tell if the streaker was a man or a woman because it had a bag on its head.
I guess that’s the earliest I’ve ever been late. — on arriving five minutes late to an interview rather than his usual half-hour
I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.
I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat, and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?
I think they just got through marinating the greens. — commenting on his performance after playing a poor golf game
I usually take a two hour nap from 1 to 4.
I want to thank you for making this day necessary. — said on Yogi Berra day in 1947 in St. Louis. By his account, he asked a teammate to write a speech, and he misspoke, saying “necessary” instead of “possible.”
I wish I had an answer to that, because I’m tired of answering that question.
I’d find the fellow who lost it; and, if he was poor, I’d return it. — when asked what he would do if he found a million dollars
If I didn’t wake up, I’d still be sleeping.
If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.
If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.
If you ask me a question, I don’t know I’m not going to answer.
If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. (This has also been attributed to computer scientist Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut and physicist Albert Einstein.)
It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
It gets late awfully early around here. — referring to the adverse sun conditions in left field at Yankee stadium
It’s like déjà vu all over again.
It’s never happened in World Series competition, and it still hasn’t.
It’s not too far; it just seems like it is.
It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
It was hard to have a conversation with anyone; there were so many people talking.
Little League baseball is a good thing ’cause it keeps the parents off the streets, and it keeps the kids out of the house!
Most of his home runs were hit on artificial turf. — when asked why Johnny Bench hit more home runs than he did
Never answer an anonymous letter.
Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical. (A variant of this, “Ninety percent of this game is half mental” is also attributed to Philadelphia Philles manager Danny Ozark.)
Overwhelming underdogs. — describing the 1969 New York Mets
Pair up in threes.
Pitching always beats batting — and vice-versa.
Slump? I ain’t in no slump! I just ain’t hitting.
Steve McQueen looks good in this movie. He must have made it before he died.
Surprise me! — when his wife, Carmen, asked where he would like to be buried
The future ain’t what it used to be.
The only reason I need these gloves is ’cause of my hands.
The other team could make trouble for us if they win.
The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
The wind always seems to blow against catchers when they’re running.
There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ’em.
Think? How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?
We have a good time together, even when we’re not together. — talking about his wife, Carmen. He implied he likes to have some time away, but also likes to get back together.
We made too many wrong mistakes. — on why the Yankees lost the 1960 series to the Pittsburgh Pirates
We’re lost, but we’re making good time.
When you get to a fork in the road, take it. (Berra says this is part of driving directions to his house in Montclair, New Jersey. There is a fork in the road, and whichever way you take, you will get to his house.)
Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.
You better make it four. I don’t think I could eat eight. — at a dinner in an Italian restaurant, when asked into how many slices his pizza should be cut
You can observe a lot by watching.
You don’t hit with your face. — Yogi’s standard response whenever someone told him he wasn’t handsome
You don’t look so hot yourself. — reply when told he looked cool in his summer suit by the New York Mayor’s wife
Yogi’s teacher: You don’t know anything, do you Berra?
Yogi: I don’t even suspect anything, sir.
You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough, in the second half, you have to give what’s left.
The similarities between me and my father are completely different. (Dale Berra said this when asked if he took after Yogi.)
I can’t concentrate when I’m thinking.

“All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” Source: Baseball Digest (June 1987)
“Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.”
Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.”
“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
“How can a you hit and think at the same time?”
“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
“I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.”
“I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.”
“If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?”
“I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”
“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”
“In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?”
“I never said most of the things I said.”
“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”
“It gets late early out there.”
“I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”
“It’s like deja vu all over again.”
“I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.”
“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.” Source: Catcher in the Wry (Bob Uecker)
“Ninety percent of this game is half mental.” Source: Sports Illustrated (May 14, 1979)
“Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”
“So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
“Take it with a grin of salt.”
“The game’s isn’t over until it’s over.”
“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

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